"I am confident we can enjoy a good competitiveness"
Bridgestone plans a return to form at this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring following a disappointing round in Donington just over a week ago.
After the non-stop, back-to-back triple-header of Catalunya,
Assen and Donington in recent weeks, MotoGP is torn from its brief respite to continue the second half of this season's captivating championship at a relentless rate with the Sachsenring event immediately followed by the second consecutive US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Bridgestone heads to Germany buoyed by its performance around the tight, twisty 3.671km track last season when Shinya Nakano crossed the line in sixth place a mere 4.5s from race winner Valentino Rossi after a two-part race which was restarted when John Hopkins crashed out on the fifth lap.
Sachsenring's asymmetrical composition of ten left-hand corners and four right-handers places a particular stress on the left side of the tyres throughout the thirty-lap race. Meanwhile, the right side of the tyre will be in need of more immediate grip levels, especially through the middle section of the lap, as lack of track contact exposes the tyre to a significant temperature drop. As riders negotiate a right-hander after a series of left-hand turns, right edge grip becomes crucial to maintain momentum over the lap.
Bridgestone will be relying on a continuation of its impressive run of unbroken front row qualifying slots this season - the only tyre manufacturer still to hold this record in 2006.
Overtaking possibilities around Sachsenring, one of the shortest and slowest laps of the year, are not abundant and qualifying prowess can often be rewarded with strong race results.
Shinji Aoki, Assistant Manager Motorcycle Race Tire Development, said: "After a string of difficult circuits, I am happy to go to Germany knowing what a good job Shinya and Kawasaki were able to demonstrate last year. To finish 4.5s from the race winner was quite an achievement and his sixth place did not really do that justice, but this year, I am confident we can enjoy similar competitiveness. The track offers quite good grip but the disparity between the number of left and right handers is something that we have had to work on. All of our tyres for this race have been developed with this in mind."
"The weather in Germany continues to be hot and sunny and the forecast looks set for more of the same, so we will be bringing a new higher temperature medium compound tyre for this weekend's race. This is not a new design as such, more an evolution from the existing family of high temperature compounds we used earlier in the season," he added. "Similarly to Assen, qualifying will be important because there are not many passing opportunities at Sachsenring. If we can secure our tenth consecutive front row grid slot and ensure all Bridgestone riders are at the sharp end of the grid, we definitely have a good chance of converting that into good race results. Between the grid and the chequered flag, though, we must also successfully manoeuvre the first corner, which last year caused the retirement of three of our riders! If we can manage all of that, then a podium is certainly within our grasp."